Cover Image: RMS Beauty

From ingredients to avoid to our favourite brands, this is our guide to beauty products that are kind to Earth

What is sustainable beauty?

Clean or sustainable beauty means that the products are safe for people and the planet, using only non-toxic ingredients for active results. If want to do your part for the environment and support sustainable enterprises, here are some things to look out for when making your next beauty purchase.

See also: 5 Beauty Habits of Super-Busy Dermatologists


Vegan-approved beauty products do not contain any animal by-products or ingredients sourced from animals. Common non-vegan ingredients found in beauty products include beeswax, glycerin (some are derived from animals), honey, lanolin, and tallow.


Beauty products that have not been tested on animals and no animal-derived ingredients are extracted. Some brands have a "Leaping Bunny Certified" badge to prove their commitment to protecting the welfare of animals. Do note that a beauty product can be cruelty-free but not vegan, and vice versa.

Eco-friendly packaging

High-performance packaging that's not harmful to the Earth does not use plastic materials that could end up in landfills. Examples of eco-friendly packaging include glass, paper and anything that's biodegradable and recyclable.

Non-toxic ingredients

These refer to a host of synthetic ingredients such as paraben, artificial fragrances, silica and mineral oils. Plant-based ingredients are the most ideal, as these are natural.

Here are some of our favourite sustainable beauty brands:

Tata Harper

Tata Harper advocates 100 per cent, non-toxic skincare products made on its farm in Vermont. Free from GMO, fillers, artificial colours, artificial fragrances and other harmful chemicals, the organic brand has also opted for glass packaging. 

See also: 5 Ways To Make Your Beauty Routine More Eco-Friendly

Summer Fridays

Following the mantra of de-stressing your skin like it's Friday during the summer, the brand is popular for its face masks. Adorned in pastel-coloured, sleek and eco-friendly metal tubes, Summer Fridays' vegan jet-lag mask is paraben-free and is made without animal testing.

Herbivore Botanicals

From its rose quartz facial roller to the jasmine green tea face mists, Herbivore Botanicals' well-loved products have helped to cement the brand's eco-friendly and sustainable status within the beauty industry over the past few years. They use only natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam distilled therapeutic-grade essential oils and GMO-free soy wax in its formulas that come packaged in recyclable materials.

See also: 3 Luxurious Eco-Friendly Salons In Hong Kong

RMS Beauty

RMS Beauty redefines the quality of make-up with their use of only raw, food-grade ingredients. The beauty brand's make-up range includes lipsticks, face powders, eyeshadows, and more, making it possible for you to create any make-up look without compromising on a flawless finish.  

Ren Skincare

The Ren Philosophy is "Clean to Skin. Clean to Planet"—true enough, the brand avoids synthetic ingredients and uses solely non-toxic ingredients to create their products. Partnering organisations such as Surfrider, Ren is also combatting waste by pioneering local clean-ups and has pledged to become a zero-waste company by 2021.

Milk Makeup

Milk is a New York-based make-up brand that is 100 per cent vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free with its hero product being the immensely popular vegan milk moisturiser that's nourishing and easy to apply.

Se also: The Best Green Beauty Boutiques In Hong Kong

Bite Beauty

A favourite of celebrities such as supermodel Kendall Jenner, the Canadian-based lipstick brand is cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Bite Beauty's lipsticks are infused with nutrient-packed superfoods that make your lips kissable every time.

Grown Alchemist

The Australian-based beauty label is renowned for using organic and plant-based ingredients packed with antioxidants, a big reason why Gwyneth Paltrow is such a huge fan.

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